ATA News

Diversity initiatives in the works as budget passes

ARA attendees hold up voting signs

Teachers’ ATA membership fees have increased for the 2024-25 school year after delegates approved the proposed budget at the Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) over the May long weekend. The result is a revised fee of $1,422 per year for a full-time teacher, amounting to an increase of $75. It’s the first fee increase in four years.

Total planned expenditures in the upcoming fiscal year are expected to increase by eight per cent compared to the 2023-24 budget. 

At the conclusion of a productive long weekend of debate, delegates approved an overall budget with a small surplus of $74,800. The annual fee for associate members is now $213.30.

Approved budget highlights

Budget 2024-25 includes a number of programs, initiatives and targeted investments all aimed at strengthening the Association’s capacity to effectively deal with expected challenges, while at the same time providing enhanced service to members. 

ARA delegates approved that the Association undertake its first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Audit. Association staff have already commenced the creation of a sub-program area within Professional Development to coordinate the Association’s support for diversity, and over the long weekend, members approved establishing teacher-defined and teacher-driven Diversity and Equity Networks (DENs) and allocating funding to support the work carried out by Diversity, Equity and Human Rights (DEHR) chairs across the province.

Further, funds were earmarked to pilot an Indigenous education initiatives grant, establish a Beginning Teachers’ Network and implement a mentorship program for school leaders.

As part of the overall budget and supporting the work described above and other priorities, four FTEs were approved. The addition of executive staff officer positions in both Teacher Employment Services and Professional Development will strengthen the capacity of these program areas to maintain service to members and support the new initiatives. 

The addition of a professional staff officer in Regulatory Affairs and Membership Support will expand the Association’s ability to assist the rapidly growing number of members who are the subject of complaints filed with the Alberta Teaching Profession Commissioner. An additional professional staff officer with responsibility for facilitating events and conferences will support the Association and its subgroups, especially specialist councils, to manage increasingly complex speaker and venue contracts, to seek out efficiencies by coordinating events and to market Barnett House facilities to external customers. 

Finally, recognizing the critical importance of effective long-term planning and risk mitigation, delegates also approved strategic information technology services investments and allocations to both the Capital Fund and the Special Emergency Fund (SEF). ❚

ARA 2024

The ATA’s 107th Annual Representative Assembly took place in Calgary. More than 450 delegates spent the May long weekend discussing issues such as the ATA’s budget for 2024-25 and adopted new policy related to diversity, education funding and the use of technology in class.

An ARA attendee listens in response to a question

An ARA attendee listens in response to a question